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What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Tuesday, Oct 27

(The Day Ahead is an email and PDF publication that includes the day's major stories and events, analyses and other features. To receive The Day Ahead, Eikon users can register at . Thomson One users can register at RT/DAY/US. All times in ET/GMT) Apple Inc, the world's largest company by market value, is expected report fourth-quarter revenue above the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. Apple relies heavily on sales of the iPhone, which generated nearly two-thirds of its revenue in the third quarter. Investors will be looking for commentary around the demand for its latest iPhones, its performance in China and its forecast for the holiday quarter.

The U.S. Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee begins a two-day meeting on interest rates, with the Fed scheduled to release a statement on Wednesday. The European Central Bank's recent signal that more stimulus is coming for Europe's economy could complicate the Fed's own message about when it might move in the opposite direction. Fed Chair Janet Yellen and other officials have said they expect a rate increase will be needed by the end of this year.

DuPont is expected to report a lower third-quarter profit, hurt by a strong dollar and weak agricultural markets in Brazil and other emerging markets. Investors expect Chief Executive Edward Breen, who took the role temporarily after Ellen Kullman stepped down this month, to initiate further cost cuts to avoid a second proxy war with Nelson Peltz's Trian Management Fund. Rival Dow Chemical's announcement last week that it would "review all options" for its farm chemicals and seeds unit has also led to speculation about a possible tie-up between the two chemical giants.

Alibaba Group Holding's results for the quarter ended September will be under the spotlight as the e-commerce behemoth comes to grips with the economic slowdown in China and the threat of lower consumer spending. The firm has already signaled that the growth of total value of transactions across online shopping sites will be less than expected.

Twitter Inc's third-quarter profit is expected to top consensus estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine, helped by Chief Executive Jack Dorsey's turnaround strategy in his second stint at the top job. Since Dorsey took over as interim CEO on July 1, he has rolled out new product features, cut jobs and taken steps to mend the company's relationship with developers and advertisers. While some notable investors have approved of his strategy, there is a cloud of worry over how Dorsey, who was appointed permanent CEO this month, plans to balance his dual role as also the CEO of Square Inc, which recently filed for an initial public offering.

Ford Motor Co, the No.2 U.S. automaker, will report third-quarter results. Investors will see how profits in China fared during a slowdown there and to what extent its best-selling vehicle, the F-150 pickup truck, boosted North American earnings.

Pfizer Inc, weighed down by declining sales of generic drugs and a strong dollar that crimped sales, is expected to report lower third-quarter earnings. Investors will watch for the company's plans for the poorly performing generic division, which it is not allowed to dispose off before 2017.

Merck & Co, whose shares have lagged those of most of its big pharma peers this year, can be expected to do some cheerleading and point to potential sources of revenue growth within its drug pipeline, when it reports third-quarter results.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co is expected to report lower third-quarter earnings, hurt by a strong dollar, but investors will be more focused on prospects of its promising array of immuno-oncology drugs, including its approved Opdivo treatment for lung cancer and melanoma. Later in the day, Gilead Sciences Inc will report third-quarter results, with investors keen to find out if sales of the drugmaker's expensive hepatitis C drug, Harvoni, continue to rise or have leveled off. Also, drugmaker Baxter International Inc will report its third-quarter results.

HCA Holdings Inc is expected to report third-quarter profit, having warned this month that it would miss analysts' estimates. The largest for-profit U.S. hospital operator has been hurt by higher labor costs and less favorable payer mix. Later in the day, pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts Holding will also release its third-quarter results.

When package delivery company United Parcel Service Inc reports its third-quarter results, analysts will focus on the outlook for the upcoming peak season. For the past two years, UPS has experienced problems in the fourth quarter, managing its network in the crucial days leading up to Christmas. The company has taken steps to ensure a smooth peak season this year, but investors will be looking for fresh reassurances.

Orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods are expected to have fallen for a second straight month in September. Analysts expect durable goods orders to have fallen 1.2 percent last month, after declining 2.3 percent in August. (0830/1230) Meanwhile, the index for consumer attitudes in October is expected to remain unchanged from the prior month at 103.0. (1000/1400) Financial firm Markit's preliminary reading of its October Purchasing Managers Index for the services sector is also expected to come in at 55.1, same as the final figure for September. (0945/1345) Separately, the S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas in August is predicted to have gained 5.1 percent from a year earlier, a bit quicker than the 5 percent rate in July. (0900/1300) Comcast Corp is expected to report third-quarter revenue slightly above the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. The largest U.S. cable operator, which is facing the challenge of keeping pay-TV subscribers amid intense competition from streaming video services, has also been working on a new cable streaming service called Stream, which will broadcast live TV from HBO and other networks.

T-Mobile US Inc is expected to report third-quarter profit below analysts' expectations for the first time in four quarters, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. However, the No.4 U.S. wireless carrier's efforts to lure customers from bigger rivals seem to be paying off as the company raised its 2015 subscriber forecast for the second time this year.

Corning Inc is expected to report third-quarter profit and revenue below analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. Analysts expect demand for its glass displays to be hurt by weak sales of personal computers and lower TV sales, mainly in China. Investors will want to know if adoption of 4K TVs and continued demand for Gorilla glass for Apple and Samsung smartphones can make up for the weakness.

Akamai Technologies Inc is expected to report third-quarter profit above the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. Investors will be looking for revenue upside from the growth in over-the-top video streaming services.

When handbag maker Coach Inc reports its first-quarter results, investors will watch for any benefits of a transformation that the company launched in North America, where it generates more than half its sales, in the face of fierce competition from newer entrants.

Lexmark International Inc is expected to report third-quarter profit slightly above analysts' estimate, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. The printer maker said last week it was exploring strategic alternatives, which might include a sale, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Textron Inc, the maker of Beechcraft and Cessna aircraft, is expected to report a third-quarter profit below analysts' expectations as the company's aviation business is expected to have suffered due to poor aircraft sales.

Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc, which makes fuselages and propulsion systems for Boeing Co, is expected to report third-quarter profit above the average analyst estimate, helped by a rise in commercial aircraft sales.

Nabors Industries Ltd is expected to report a third-quarter loss compared with a year-earlier profit, hurt by weak drilling in North America due to a slump in global oil prices. The company had warned of lower quarterly revenue and profit in August, saying it expected the rig market to remain depressed for an extended period.

Private equity firm KKR & Co LP is expected to report a third-quarter loss as a stock market plunge and a rout in energy prices forced it to mark down the value of its assets.

The Canadian province of Alberta, hammered over the past year by falling crude prices, introduces a budget that is expected to show a record deficit, and possibly open the door for new tax increases. The budget comes amid a review of royalty rates paid by oil and gas companies and follows the newly-elected New Democratic government's decision to hike corporate tax rates from 10 percent to 12 percent last June.

Restaurant Brands International Inc, the world's No.3 fast-food restaurant group, is expected to see a small drop in third-quarter profit from the prior quarter. Investors will be looking for comments on the company's expansion plans in and outside North America.

Canadian National Railway Co, which has said it expects double-digit growth in full-year earnings per share despite weakening shipment volumes, will report its third-quarter results.

LIVECHAT: Investment View with Andrew Milligan, head of global strategy, Standard Life The twin uncertainties of China and the Federal Reserve's interest rate policy are hanging over financial markets. We talk to Andrew Milligan, head of global strategy at Standard Life, at 1000/1400 about how investors should navigate these unknowns. To join the conversation click here http://bit.ly/1kTxdKD (Compiled by Nayyar Rasheed in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey)